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Project START Together: Supporting Treatment for Anti-Retroviral Therapy Together

The START Together project is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded study that aims to develop and evaluate a couple-based intervention targeting antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication adherence for HIV-infected women and their male partners living in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This intervention has the potential to simultaneously improve HIV-infected women’s adherence to life-saving ART as well as engage men into HIV-related care, both of which are major barriers to meeting global goals of eradicating new HIV infections. This two-year study will use a mixed methods research design to develop and test the START Together Program. Qualitative interviews will first be conducted with women and men from the target population to develop and refine the intervention (ensuring it is culturally appropriate) before pilot-testing it with a small number of South African couples to evaluate its efficacy.

Location: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Funding: CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship (Dates: September 1, 2018- 2020; PI: Belus; Mentors: Drs. Ruanne Barnabas (UW), Heidi van Rooyen (HSRC) and Jessica Magidson (UMD)). Partnering institutions and colleagues at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa and the University of Washington in the US. Opportunities for involvement in study coordination, data analysis (qualitative and quantitative), and future grant submissions.